Big things

Interesting article here asking why can’t we do big things anymore.  First, lets look at the list:

The recent quick fade of the Deficit Commission was the latest reminder that America no longer seems to have the stomach for big challenges.  There was a time – was it just a generation ago? – when Americans were legendary for doing vast, seemingly superhuman, projects:  the Interstate Highway System, the Apollo Missions, Hoover Dam, the Manhattan Project, the Normandy invasion, the Empire State Building, Social Security.

All of the above, with the exception of the Empire State building, are all creations of massive government.  If he’s going to praise war and socialism then, why does he not champion it now?

I have an answer as to why we cannot accomplish even simple things anymore.  There’s simply no room left given the size and scope of the federal government, its wealth confiscation, its overbearing regulations, its economic plannings.

I do love how he includes the Manhattan Project: government financing of the means of total annihilation.

Part of the reason he surmises is how technology has made everything smaller.  Ah yes, the beauty of the free market, capitalism, entrepreneurs taking risks, and we all are winners.

He only finally gets around to the real problem in passing:

Everybody’s a winner: The recruiting ad for the Pony Express said:  “Orphans Preferred.”  The ugly fact is that the building of America cost a lot of lives by putting men (and sometimes women) in dangerous, high-risk situations.  We don’t seem to have the intestinal fortitude for that kind of sacrifice anymore – and even if we did, our robust system of torts laws would make it too expensive to pursue anyway.  You probably can’t conquer outer space with a society that doesn’t keep score in youth soccer games, hands out participation trophies, and sues for every cut and bruise.  After all, the virtual bullets in a Halo gunfight don’t hurt.

Well of course.  Make government big enough, have ti do big enough things, and pretty soon it gets around to running, and ruining, everyone’s lives.  Sad, he doesn’t see the connection between the first paragraph and this one. In fact, he misses the picture entirely.  We do big things extremely well.  The big thing IS government.


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